Saturday, May 30, 2009

How many times do I have to tell you???

You may NOT go outside with no PANTS!!

-Not even to see the weather
-Not even to see the garbage truck
-Not to get your scooter
-Not even to see the mailman
-Not if you need to get something
-Not even if the other kids are out there

Just put on your pants already!!

Friday, May 29, 2009

Food Friday: Dismal Progress

Any other questions?

I am finishing making some Tamales right now, so that will give me about 3 freezer meals. But I haven't taken the time to plan out some meals, and go grocery shopping. I have been *meaning* to do it every day this week, but just haven't.

Isn't that how life goes sometimes? Or all the time? At least most of the time around here.

No cute labels. No new buckets. No inventory finished or freezer meal progress. I will try to accomplish something next week!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

You probably thought I forgot all about it

I haven't forgotten about the giveaway prizes! I have been slowly steadily working on them, and thanks to a little time to myself (thanks to Kydon), I made some major progress on several of the projects!

And I am still having fun making them, so hopefully the momentum and time will continue, and I will get the rest of them done!

Our little Turkey friend is ready to be put into the mail, for those of you who requested a Thanksgiving decoration! He will be going to Melinda, mandamike, and Amanda! Mandamike, I need your address! Send it to

My little Spring cuties just need a few finishing touches. When I finish them up, they will be sent to their new homes with Rachel, Momma to 1 looking for #2, and my Mom!

And Katie, you tried to stump me with a request for 'Father's Day', but I thought these little bowtie blocks would be perfect! They are in the works!

I'm still looking for my patterns to use for fall, Halloween, Summer, and Christmas! It might take a while, but I haven't forgotten!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

The Girl Can Ride!

Abigail learned how to ride her bike this week! With NO training wheels!

She picked it up really, really fast. She wanted to try, because Caroline (older cousin) can now ride her bike. After the first couple of tries, she wanted the training wheels back on- it was too hard.

So I simply said "that's okay- Caroline didn't learn until she was 7, and you are only 5. We'll try again when you are older".

She immediately picked it back up, and within about 15 minutes, she was pedaling faster than I could run! (I sometimes know what to say to get the motivation flowing).

She only fell once.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

What do you do in the Summertime?

Or, better yet, what will we do in the summertime?

Today is our first day of summer. Abigail is out of school, Kydon is back to work, and I am alone with the kids.


This week we plan to go to Stone Mountain one last time before our passes expire.

We will be frequent visitors to the zoo.

Also I can't say no to a free movie.

The puppet shows at the community theater were fun last year, and we will go again this year.

Swimming, of course, as often as we can.

Will that be enough? Or will I need to hire a babysitter a few hours a week? Only time will tell!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Food Friday: Organization

This week I made a major step: I purchased a big, strong shelf, and organized all most of my food storage.

This is my 3 month storage at a glance. Once I get my cute labels finished, it will be SO easy to do my inventory and see what I need. I still need to revisit my menu plans and make sure it really is enough food. It doesn't look like much on this shelf, but I have to remind myself that each of the FIFO shelves holds 12 cans, so a lot is hidden. I do think I have too much sugar- 10 lbs of powdered, 10 lbs of brown, and 50 lbs of granulated, and that is just in the 3 month supply. I am going to decrease those quantities!

I finished making all the FIFO shelves that I need. Actually, I miscalculated, and I need one more. Always one more...

I still need a few more buckets and gamma seal lids, but I am only 3 away from my goal- I have 3 for flour, I want two for sugar and one for popcorn.

As for the goals I set last week: Zero progress on the freezer meals. Abigail's end of school parties, and my sister and grandparents have taken higher priority, so maybe next week I will make some progress with that. I did pick up some baking powder and baking soda at the store when I went, so I made some progress on my long term storage.

An Available Room

I've decided what I want to do with my spare room. I want someone to come and live in it! We have all missed Dane, now that he is happily married and out of the house. His room wasn't vacant long before my sister Jennifer came to stay. It was SO nice having her here! I love having an extra adult in the house, someone to talk to, someone to roll my eyes at when the kids act crazy. Someone to take some of the pressure of popularity.

She has only been gone a day and a half, and I am ready to fill up the room again. Any takers?

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Blog Header

I just wanted to give a big THANKS! To my friend, Marchet, for designing my new blog header! She not only took the adorable picture, but she designed the header for me. I love it! Thanks again! Check out her photography site- it is great!

Monday, May 18, 2009

A Zoo with no Animals

My sister and grandparents are in town this week. We have been having fun family get togethers and a lot of fun times. Today we went to the zoo. The kids all had a great time. Although, I don't think they realized that the zoo actually has animals.
They loved all of the cute statues throughout the park. We stopped at every single one, and had to touch, climb, and take pictures.
As soon as we got inside the zoo gate, they couldn't wait to get onto the playground. We spent some time there, then ate some lunch. After lunch we went to the petting zoo. While there, the kids were fixated on two things. The first was the proximity of the train tracks. They were so excited to see the tracks- and we got a special treat when the train came by.
Isn't it thrilling?

The second fixation was the elimination habits of the animals in the petting zoo. The poop on the ground was quite fascinating, and much more interesting than any of the animals walking around. They even wanted a picture of it.
We were treated to a special surprise when a pig walked all the way across the area, stood right in front of our group, and took care of business.

Fascinating, isn't it?
We then rode the train.

Followed by the carousel.

And the rock climbing wall.
Finally, after almost 3 hours of being at the zoo, we ventured over to where the animals live. No matter, though. The statues, rocks, and benches were much more interesting than any of the wildlife they might have been exposed to.

This grate in the path kept the attention for quite a while. Nevermind the playful and interesting monkeys right behind it.
Gorillas who were eating and fighting and were playing with the babies? Not interesting.

A gorilla statue? Very interesting.

Lions and zebras and giraffes and rinos? Not nearly as cool as a fake volcano statue.

Boy, I sure am glad we paid extra and bought the one year pass. I mean, why wouldn't we want to drive for 30 minutes to go to a different playground?

Friday, May 15, 2009

Food Friday: Time to get re-motivated

I was so, so happy to finally reach the point of maintaining and rotating my 3 month storage, rather than building it. Since I reached that point, my life in general has become much busier, and my other goals have not had much attention paid to them.

So, it is time to refocus and find some motivation. The remaining goals are water storage, 1 year supply of long term basics, and a 1 month supply of freezer meals.

At one point in this journey, I had my freezer meals completed. However, a lack of focus and my attention to other things caused the supply to dwindle and disappear.

My new focus driven goals are to have my one month supply of meals, completed THIS MONTH. Before June 15th. This will be difficult, no doubt, but I *can* do it! I find that I work better under at least a little bit of pressure.

I also want to focus on my long term storage of basics. I have an appointment for the cannery in October, and I want to have $300 to spend when I am there. This is significantly more than I have had in the past, but I should be able to save up that money without too much difficulty in that amount of time. Also, before I go in October, I want to have purchased the things that are on my list that I can't buy at the cannery, namely oil, salt, baking powder, baking soda, and yeast.

This week I made BBQ Meatballs and made enough to put some away in the freezer. I will be making tamales, and fried rice next week. I might think of a couple more to try. I will need to put about 7 meals into the freezer each week in order to make my goal. If I cook a freezer- friendly meal 3 times per week, I should be able to make it.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Summer may = injury

As soon as we started riding our bikes, trikes, and scooters outside, one of us got a bump on the head...

I wrote my thoughts about Jack's recent injury over at Deep South Moms.

Impressions of Mommy

Being out of town, we missed the Mother's day party, and the spring program, but Abigail did get to bring home the little treasures she had made.

My mother is... 22 years old

She has blonde hair

The color of her eyes are brown

My favorite thing to do with my mom is go on the merry go round

My mom is 21 feet tall

My mom plays princess dolls with me

When I am at school my mom goes grocery shopping

My mom likes to eat vegetables

I love my mom because she plays with me.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Where to begin... or end?

I don't like being busy.

I like having things to do, but I like a lot of down time. Time to do what I want. Time to put things away. Time to go to the grocery store. Time to blog.

I have no time.

We have been in and out of town 4 times in the last month. Birthdays, weddings, adorable children, visitors, and a lot of family get togethers. Plus we may as well throw in a few extra projects and doctors visits just for the fun of it. It all makes for plenty of things to blog about, but no time to do it.

And now I lay awake at night just trying to remember all of the things I need to get done.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Mother's Day

Originally posted on May 7, 2008. I am out of town at Dane and Laura's wedding this week, so I thought I would leave this message from last year.

Mother's Day is one of the biggest holidays of the entire year for me. Not because of what I do (very, very little), but because of how many ideas and expectations and emotions it brings up.

I spent about 7 years wanting desperately to be a mother. Not as in 'I want to have kids one day', but as in actively trying to have kids, not being able to, seeing doctors, having my entire life revolve around 2 week schedules (2 weeks of hope, 1 day of ovulation, 2 weeks of waiting, disappointment, repeat), invasive doctor visits, crazy hormones and drugs. That kind of wanting to be a mother. Wanting it so bad it was like an empty hole in my belly (haha, no pun intended, but it works)! I hated Mother's Day in those years. I wanted to crawl in a hole and hide from everyone trying to wish me a 'Happy Woman's Day' or 'You will be a Mother one day'. I know people meant well, but it was just a bad day that reminded me of all I didn't have.

Then I became a Mother. One year a Mother of one, and then the very next year I was Mother of three. Wow, talk about dreams coming true!! I celebrated so much. I was overjoyed with how happy I was to have all these beautiful babies. But it was hard! And I wanted a day off. I wanted Mother's Day to be all about me- gratitude for all I did, amazing and thoughtful gifts, just a wonderful celebration of me and all that I was and did. I mean, I worked for years to get to this point, and now I had 3 babies. Where was my throne and servants?? For some reason dh and the fam didn't have the same vision for Mother's Day that I did. What the heck? So then I spent a few years loving Mother's Day, but being severely disappointed and mad afterward. (Who could have guessed).

Also on Mother's Day, I always think of our children's birthmothers. Such wonderful, selfless sacrifice they gave to their children. Such courage, love and strength they had to make the decision they did. It wasn't easy for either of them. It is quite possibly the hardest thing they will ever do. But they did it. I love them each so much. When I look at my children, I see these two women. When I see their genetic gifts (which are many), I am grateful for the men and women who created these wonderful kids. The two days a year that I think about them more than any other is the kids' birthdays, and Mother's Day. I wouldn't be a mother without them, and for that I will be eternally grateful.

I read or heard once a story about the woman who started Mother's Day. Now, I have no idea if this is true, I am only repeating it because it helps me get to my point. Anyway, the story goes that the woman who decided and successfully got Mother's Day to be a holiday intended it as a day for women to celebrate being a Mother. To spend the day in service and gratitude to her children. Not a day for everyone to give thanks to mom, and shower her with expensive and thoughtful gifts, but a day for her to express her love for them, and show her gratitude for being a mother.

That is what I am going to do this year and every year going forward. Even if the story isn't true, it is still what I want to do with my Mother's Day. I love being a Mother. It wasn't easy getting these kids into my family, and too often I take them for granted, or get frustrated too easily. I will never get a gift that is "enough" to show all I do for them. I will never have a great enough dinner or enough time off to "equal" all that I do. I don't do it for that. I do it to serve these precious people who depend on me to do those things.

So I'm going to change my celebration of Mother's Day. No more feeling sorry for myself, no more pity party, no more expectations. I am just going to spend the day remembering how lucky I am to have diapers to change, noses to wipe, blankies to find, hugs to give, and kids to fill my home with noise of all kinds. Happy Mother's Day.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Two Different Points of View

My reaction: Oh, geez, it is 6:00 in. the. morning. The last thing I want to do is head to the beach. Sandy, messy, exhausting.
Their reaction: We are finally here, and awake, and we cannot wait one. more. minute to go experience the fun!
My reaction: Oh, this beach is kind of dirty. Seaweed everywhere, cold wet sand... not like the pristine Florida beaches I am used to.
Their reaction: AWESOME! Look at all the cool seashells! Look at all the seaweed! I have always wanted to see seaweed. Hey- see seaweed! It rhymes!

My reaction: The water is cold. And wet. I don't want to get wet. I wish I could just stay on the sand and not get in the water.
Their reaction: Complete joy! Giggles, squeals, shouts for joy. Laughing hysterically with every wave that crashed over them.

My reaction: What a mess. Now I have to dry out and clean up toys, clothes, shoes, swim suits. I have to try not to get any sand in the rental house. We all need baths. This is so much work.
Their reaction: Mommy, that was the most fun I've ever had.

When did I get so OLD?

Once I was able to ignore my inner 90- year old cranky woman, I had a blast at the beach with the kids. I splashed in the waves, we jumped into them together, we laughed together, and enjoyed the morning. I was SO glad I joined them and stopped all my inner complaining. Childhood can be magical, and today I got to participate in the magic.

Thank you, children.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Saving Money

No, not me- the kids!

Jack and Aidan got a little birthday money from their Great Grandma. I always encourage them to put it in their banks and think of what they are saving for. This time it produced a pretty funny conversation.

Aidan, ever the consistent one, continues to save for a mission. He wants to teach mean guys about Jesus. I suspect that he is more interested in meeting the mean guys than he is about their salvation, but it is a noble goal nonetheless.

Jack always tells me something different. This time he told me he was saving to buy his own fire truck, to park at his fire truck house.

Aidan: "Jack, how you gonna get da fire truck out of the store? The doors are really small"

Jack: "I gonna buy it from a fire truck store. Dey have bigger doors there".

I love watching their little minds work and see them figuring things out!

Monday, May 4, 2009

I can do it!!

No, not the kids... me!

I have a tendency to believe I can do things easier myself. Sometimes, I am right, but sometimes, I'm not...

Like doing our own taxes. I probably should hire someone. But I insist on doing it myself.

I decided they need swimming lessons this summer. I looked into lessons at a few local pools. But to get 3 kids signed up? Is expensive. So then I thought it might be cheaper to just hire some teenager to teach my 3 their own lessons- sort of a private lesson kind of thing. I started looking for someone to do it, and I thought "forget it- I bet I could do it myself"! I googled it, and guess what? It looks really easy! That is our plan for the summer- swim lessons with Mommy.

Now Jack and Aidan need speech therapy. They speak a lot, but no one except for me (and Abigail) can understand them. I started calling all these places, a huge list of ST offices, and it is going to be such a pain! Finding one in the right insurance network, taking them to visits, figuring out what to do with Abigail... yikes.

Last night I was talking to Kydon, and I was getting ideas in my head... I could do it myself! I am a nurse. I worked for 2 years on a Rehab floor that had a lot of ST (I didn't actually do anything with ST, or even see them work, but I was on the same floor- shouldn't that count?). I know how to google and read wikipedia articles. And there is the endlessly helpful youtube. I mean, come on- what more do you need?

Don't you think I could do it myself?? Or would it be a complete disaster??

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Laundry Soap

Several months ago, I saw a blog post about making your own laundry soap. I immediately dismissed the idea, and went about my bloggy way. I do a lot of laundry around here, and it just seemed kind of silly to make my own. But then I ran out and had to buy a new bucket. Laundry soap is so expensive!! So then I came home, and reread the post, and thought about it some more. By the time that bucket of laundry soap ran out, I was ready to try it.

I bought the ingredients at the store. I think it only cost me about $10 to buy everything. Then I came home and made it - it took about 20 minutes to cook it up. And then I had 5! Gallons! of Soap! You only use 1/2 cup for each load, so it will last forever. I have been using it for about 6 weeks, and have only used 1.5 gallons. Also, the borax and Arm and Hammer stuff came in a big box and I only used a cup of each, so the next time I make it (and probably the next 10-12 times I make it), it will only cost me $1 for the bar of soap.

Our clothes are clean, they smell nice, and I don't think I will buy laundry soap any more! It is just slightly more lumpy than what you buy in the store, but that really isn't a problem. I store it in leftover milk jugs, and just dump a little in each load.

Go ahead and try it- we can all use that extra cash to build up our food supply!

Friday, May 1, 2009

Food Friday: Question about oil

About a year and a half ago, I got pumped up for food storage, and bought a few items. I then did nothing else until my recent kick. One of the items I bought during that time was oil. I did the calculations, and figured out how much oil a family of 5 would need for a year. I think oil should be one of the 'basics' that you store a year of, because it is so valuable in baking and cooking things.

The problem is that while we use a lot more oil than we used to, since I cook from scratch a lot more, we also don't use as much as what I have stored. It is going bad! I am having to throw away big tubs of oil that are past the expiration date, and that is a big chunk of money.

So does anyone have any ideas for me? Should I only store a 3 month supply of oil instead of a year? Should I just buy it and occasionally throw it out and just count it as something that has to happen in order to have my food storage? What do you do for oil?

I am feeling such a sense of peace and satisfaction from having this supply of food in my home. This week we used the last of 2 items that we don't cycle through that much- jam and mayonnaise. Normally I would have had to put it on my list, and we would have just been out until I got to the store. Now I can say "we have more downstairs". It makes me so happy when I get to say that!!

Turning off the TV actually worked... so far

I participated in Turn off TV week because I felt like we were watching way too much TV. It had become a bad habit for the kids and for myself. I was hoping that by going cold turkey for one week, we would settle into a routine of only watching a little bit. My goal is to watch somewhere around a total of 7 hours/week. That averages to one hour a day, some days might be a little more, some a little less.

I thought that since I gave up on day 5 that the experiment had been a failure. I couldn't even make it one week! And on Monday we watched an hour in the morning, and 2 hours in the afternoon. So I was trying to figure out what to do to work on decreasing it again, but guess what? On Tuesday and Wednesday we didn't watch it at all! And today they didn't ask for it in the morning! Obviously we are watching it some, but it looks like the average is sticking, and they are out of the constant-begging-for-TV- habit. I need to be strong and say 'no' if we are over our limit! That is the hard part! :)